First Published -December 10, 1884
- Now we get to the good stuff: Jim decides that Huck should dress up like a girl and go to town to try and find some news.
- Huck, obviously, thinks this is a great idea.
- He puts on a dress (part of the supplies he and Jim found in the floating house), paddles in, and comes to the door of a little shanty. Through the window he can see a middle-aged woman sitting alone and knitting—prime bait for his scheme.
- Huck comes up with a fun little name and story: he—ahem, she—is Sarah Williams, his/her mother is sick, etc., etc.
- The woman is a chatty bird and tells "Sarah" all about the big news in town: the murder of Huck Finn.
- At first, she says, everyone thought Huck's Pap was the man responsible, but then they decided it was Jim, since he ran away on the same night of the murder.
- There's a reward out for both men: $200 for Pap, who ran away, afraid of getting lynched, and $300 for Jim.
- But woman is sure that Huck's father will wait for the murder business to die down, come back after about a year, and get Huck's $6,000 cool as you please.
- Oh, and the hunting party is going to check out Jackson's Island this very night, since she's recently seen smoke coming from that direction.
- Huck gets all nervous and fidgety. The woman isn't as naïve as she seems, and she asks for the girl's name again. Huck answers: "Mary Williams."
- He backtracks quickly and clarifies: Mary is his middle name, so he sometimes goes by that.
- The woman goes back to talking about herself and her family and her personal problems, and the two of them have some fun throwing lead at the various rats infesting her house.
- Unfortunately, Huck does an all-around awful job of acting like a girl, and the jig is up. The woman calls him out, saying she knows he is a runaway apprentice.
- Huck is all, "Aw, shucks, you caught me" and spins another yarn about being mistreated.
A little piece of crossdressing/transgender history.